Jay Blades reveals he lived among rats as a child while growing up in poverty

The Repair Shop star Jay Blades has revealed he used to live amongst rats as a child.

The TV star, 52, told how because his mother Barbara was abandoned by his father when he was a baby, he was brought up in impoverished conditions.

Jay made the admission on Channel 5’s new documentary series, There’s No Place Like Home where he returned to his childhood home in Hackney, north-east London.

Heartbreaking: The Repair Shop star Jay Blades has revealed he used to live amongst rats as a child after his father abandoned his mother

Heartbreaking: The Repair Shop star Jay Blades has revealed he used to live amongst rats as a child after his father abandoned his mother

During the show, he said: ‘When I was born my mum came to live here with my uncle. My mum got pregnant with the man who contributed towards my birth and he left her high and dry. ‘

Jay added: ‘[He] took all her money from her, said he was going to promise her this and that, and he didn’t, he just disappeared. The time for my mum must have been quite desperate I would say.

‘There was loads of rubbish everywhere, there were rats.’

He said: 'There was loads of rubbish everywhere, there was rats' (stock image)

He said: ‘There was loads of rubbish everywhere, there was rats’ (stock image)

Jay’s new show with Channel 5 comes just months after he starred in BBC documentary Learning to Read at 51 which saw the once-illiterate star tackle the written word after years of being unable to read.

It comes after Jay spoke of his surprise at The Repair Shop’s popularity as he was made an MBE at Windsor Castle.

Jay, a furniture restorer and designer, was given the honor by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday for services to craft and in recognition of his work promoting heritage craft and restoration in the UK.

The regular favorite on the BBC show – which sees members of the public bringing in worn out family heirlooms to be restored by a team of experts – said he never expected that the program ‘would become so big’.

Honor: Jay spoken of his surprise at The Repair Shop's popularity as he was made an MBE at Windsor Castle

Honor: Jay spoken of his surprise at The Repair Shop’s popularity as he was made an MBE at Windsor Castle

There for him: Jay pictured with his beloved mother, Barbara, in a snap taken from social media

There for him: Jay pictured with his beloved mother, Barbara, in a snap taken from social media

Jay has starred in the program since it started in 2017.

He said: ‘I knew it was special, because you wouldn’t have all of those different disciplines in the same building. You wouldn’t have a ceramic next to a fine art next to woodwork and a clock restorer, you just wouldn’t have that. ‘

He said that the rest of the team were ‘over the moon’ for him after receiving his MBE.

‘They’ve all said,’ Do we have to bow, do we have to curtsy to you? ‘ and stuff like that.

MBE: Jay was given the honor by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday for services to craft and in recognition of his work promoting heritage craft and restoration in the UK

MBE: Jay was given the honor by the Prince of Wales on Tuesday for services to craft and in recognition of his work promoting heritage craft and restoration in the UK

‘I’ve just said there’s one request: as long as they can bring me a biscuit with my cup of tea, that’s all I want,’ he joked.

The presenter, when asked if a particular object from the show stood out to him, said it was like ‘picking your favorite child’.

‘All of them are really special, all the individuals that bring an item in, all the items are dear to them and all the memories are so unique that you could never pick one I don’t think.’

Jay stressed the importance of craft as part of a sustainable future, something he spoke about with Charles as received the honor.

Popular: The regular favorite on the BBC show said he never expected that the program 'would become so big'

Popular: The regular favorite on the BBC show said he never expected that the program ‘would become so big’

Achievement: Jay left school at 15, and has set up a charity encouraging young people who struggle academically to get involved in practical jobs, such as restoration and craft

Achievement: Jay left school at 15, and has set up a charity encouraging young people who struggle academically to get involved in practical jobs, such as restoration and craft

‘It’s all about sustainability, it’s all about teaching the next generation as to what they should be doing and what they can do, because some people think craft isn’t accessible to them,’ he said.

‘I want craft to be accessible to everybody, from the poor side of town to the rich side of town, so everybody can access it.’

Jay left school at 15, and has set up a charity encouraging young people who struggle academically to get involved in practical jobs, such as restoration and craft.

He is also an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which provides people with up to £ 18,000 in funding to study a traditional craft.

Ceremony: He is also an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which provides people with up to £ 18,000 in funding to study a traditional craft

Ceremony: He is also an ambassador for the Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust, which provides people with up to £ 18,000 in funding to study a traditional craft

Jay previously lauded his co-stars for giving him the ‘confidence’ to speak about his dyslexia.

The TV personality whose disability prevents him from using the reading device, revealed he ‘loves’ working on the BBC program since he can talk in ‘the way he feels’ while filming.

Speaking exclusively to MailOnline at the recent RTS Awards, he opened up about how he overcame hurdles in order to present to millions, despite being diagnosed with the disorder at the age of 31.

He said: ‘No we do nothing like that, no autocue. The person who tells me about all the emails is Kirsten [Ramsay]in the emails they send, she let’s me know what they’re all about.

‘There’s no script. It’s all as real as it looks and it’s all done in one so so working on The Repair Shop is brilliant for a dyslexic cos you just talk the way you feel. You say what it is you’re feeling at the time. ‘

Pals: He said that the rest of the team were 'over the moon' for him after receiving his MBE.  'They've all said:

Pals: He said that the rest of the team were ‘over the moon’ for him after receiving his MBE. ‘They’ve all said,’ Do we have to bow, do we have to curtsy to you? ‘ and stuff like that ‘

Having also featured in TV favorites including Jay Blades’ Home Fix, Money for Nothing and Strictly Come Dancing, the furniture restorer claimed he cannot appear in a show that requires him to use a teleprompter.

He said: ‘Everything has to be unscripted. A lot of the shows I do are unscripted. They’re very accommodating to me, you call is a disability, they’re very accommodating to that. ‘

Going on to gush about his pals at the factual program, the Hackney native continued of his dyslexia: ‘The confidence to speak about it comes from the people that are around you.

‘So if you feel comfortable with them … at The Repair Shop we have a lovely family down there, they allow you to feel comfortable so you can open up and just be cool.

‘So yeah you’ve got to have good people around you. If you haven’t, you’re in trouble. ‘

Candid: Jay previously lauded his co-stars for giving him the ‘confidence’ to speak about his dyslexia

Candid: Jay previously lauded his co-stars for giving him the ‘confidence’ to speak about his dyslexia

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